Pairings: Remus/Sirius, James/Lily
Rating/Warnings: Sexual situations, language, descriptions of violent acts/deaths
Notes: Magical AU written for the Marauder Big Bang at Livejournal. This is complete and will be posted in 11 parts. If you'd like to read the whole story at once, please see my profile for a link to my LJ page. From there, you can find the post leading to the Marauder Big Bang. Thank you to my beta and inspiration, dogsunderfoot for her help and support, and to brighty18 for going above and beyond the call of duty to get this fest back on track.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all characters, places, objects, ideas, and related material are the property of JK Rowling and her various publishing entities. Neither the author, the artists, nor the marauderbigbang are in any way making a monetary profit from this posting.
Thank you to everyone who commented and favourited. Real life has thrown me for a bit of a loop over the last few months so if I never managed to thank you for your support, I apologise. Every review has put a smile on my face. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the final chapter.
James and Peter stared at Sirius in disbelief. 'You're going to be bait?' Peter said faintly, barely audible over the raucous racket from the bar.
'I'll be fine,' Sirius said offhandedly, turning his half-full glass and watching the ringlets of condensation appear on the table. 'There'll be plenty of Aurors there.'
'Yeah, you lot did such a great job of putting the stoppers on him last time,' James said sarcastically, slumping back in his seat and crossing his arms over his chest. 'This is a fucking terrible idea, Sirius.'
Sirius shot him a dark look then hazarded a glance at Remus, who had been silent since Sirius broke the news. 'You aren't going to yell at me, too?' he asked quietly, uncharacteristically nervous about Remus' reaction.
Remus looked up at Sirius through his eyelashes. 'Not my place to yell at you,' he mumbled, finger tapping the rim of his glass. 'For the record, though, I think you're an idiot and, as someone who is quite fond of certain parts of your body, it scares me to death to see how cavalier you are about putting them at risk.'
'The record will reflect your observations as well as your adoration of my body,' Sirius said, raising his glass and gulping the remains of the ale down in one long pull.
'Fondness,' Remus corrected snidely. 'You need another inch for adoration.'
'Sirius...' Peter tried, but Sirius shook his head.
'Look, I'm doing this,' he said firmly. 'He marked me at the club so I'm the one who has to do it. Case closed.'
There was silence in their little corner of the bar, the cacophony rising from the crowd of after work punters a juxtaposition to the oppressive quiet in their booth. Sirius looked from man to man, from his best friends to Remus, the man who had somehow managed to worm his way into Sirius' heart.
'It'll be alright,' he said, looking at each man in turn. 'I'll be alright.'
Peter and James glanced at each other then visibly forced their concern away. 'Course you will,' Peter blustered. 'Only the good die young.'
James took up the forced cheer. 'He'd probably spit you out after one bite anyway,' James said, giving Sirius a light kick to his shin. 'Can't imagine you'd taste very good.'
'Oh, he tastes quite good, actually,' Remus offered, lifting his chin and smirking at James. 'Kind of salty...'
'Ew!' James and Peter cried in unison. James winced and Peter covered his ears, singing, 'I'm not listening, I'm not listening,' and making Sirius and Remus laugh.
Sirius woke with a start the next day, the grey light of the early morning spearing weakly through the parted curtains. He lifted his head off the pillow, squinting as his sleep-weary eyes attempted to focus on the unfamiliar furnishings. A noise from beside him made his head snap around sharply then the ratty surroundings began to make sense.
'Go back to sleep,' Remus mumbled, voice rough with sleep and slightly slurred. He turned his head to look at Sirius. ''S too early.'
Sirius obligingly laid back down, careful not to bump Remus too much as he curled up next to him. The other man was aching last night – and not the good ache that came from the slow, careful fucking Sirius had been happy to provide. With the full moon due that night, Remus was tired and sore – pain tearing through his joints with every movement – and desperately miserable that he couldn't be at 'Skin' that night to help Sirius.
'I hate this!' he said despairingly, sinking down on the edge of the bed. 'Gods, I hate feeling so bloody useless. I hate being this... creature...'
Sirius crouched between Remus' legs, pulling the other man's hands away from his face. 'You're not a creature, Remus,' he said softly. 'And I wouldn't let you come tomorrow even if you could.' He skimmed his hands along Remus' arms, stroking a finger firmly over a long, silvery scar as he did. He cupped Remus' face. 'I don't want you at risk. I need you to be safe.'
He kissed Remus, who accepted the chaste press of lips then sighed. 'What are we doing?' he asked Sirius, voice weary. 'This can't work – you and me. The more I see you, the harder it is to watch you leave. But this... we're impossible, Sirius.'
Sirius flattened a hand against Remus' chest and gently pushed until he was lying on his back on the mattress. He carefully crawled over him, looming above him on his hands and knees. 'Nothing is impossible,' he whispered before dipping his head and kissing Remus slow and deep.
Now, he pressed a flurry of kisses over Remus' freckled shoulder. Remus' sleepy chuckle sparked a warm glow in his chest, and Sirius sighed. 'I should go,' he murmured, flicking his tongue over the jutting collar bone and wanting nothing more than to pull the covers over them and shut out the world. 'Big day.'
Remus' brow furrowed, and Sirius smiled as an arm snaked around his waist. 'No,' Remus said definitively. 'Fuck first.' He tightened his arms, hissing when his body objected to the movement.
'I don't think so,' Sirius chuckled, shifting to lie lightly over Remus' chest. 'Shouldn't have done it last night with you so sore.'
Remus made a noise in his throat. 'No,' he murmured, combing his fingers through Sirius' hair. 'No, last night was perfect. Just what I needed.'
Sirius kissed Remus' sternum then slid down to nuzzle his face into Remus' soft belly. 'Me too,' he admitted, still surprised how much comfort and reassurance he'd taken from Remus' touch last night. His fingers danced along Remus' inner thigh and he smiled in satisfaction when Remus' cock twitched with interest.
He rolled himself up onto his knees then pressed his face into the tight curls at the base of Remus' swelling cock. 'No fucking,' he murmured into the warm, musky skin. 'A blow job, however...'
Remus grinned, pulling a pillow under his head so he could watch as Sirius' mouth stretched around his shaft. 'Just what the doctor ordered,' he said, a low groan escaping as Sirius swallowed him whole.
Sirius spun on his heel, striding down the dank alleyway that ran alongside 'Skin' nightclub. The moon had risen an hour earlier, and Sirius could feel tension and magic crackling around him. Sirius came to an abrupt halt in front of a brick wall, spun on the spot, and stalked back the way he'd came.
'If you don't stop pacing, Black, you won't need to worry about the werewolf becauseI'm going to rip you a new...'
'Prewett!' Moody's hissed rebuke was followed by a quiet, 'You ready, Black?'
Sirius let his eyes go unfocused, catching the shimmer of the Disillusionment spells camouflaging his colleagues. 'I'm ready,' he muttered then glanced towards the mouth of the alley. 'No heat signatures yet?'
'Not yet,' Emmeline whispered, and he caught the white spark of a spell. 'Good luck, Sirius.'
Sirius nodded an acknowledgment. 'I'll wait until you pick up the heat signature then, after you contact me, I'll come out and head down the alley as if I was going to Apparate.'
'Sure you don't want me in there with you,' a voice Sirius recognised as Fabian's murmured.
Sirius smirked. 'You just want to get back in there,' he teased. 'All those pretty boys in tight jeans... I knew you'd come around.'
A low chuckle then, 'Arse.'
'Can we get on with it, please?'
Sirius took a deep breath and nodded. 'Here goes,' he muttered under his breath as he strode with more confidence than he felt towards the entrance of the club.
Two hours later, Sirius emerged from the hot, smoky club into the crisp night air. He stopped in the doorway and shivered, pulling his leather coat tightly around him before stepping off the curb and jogging across the street.
Emmeline's Patronus had told him it was time to go; that a large heat signature had been sighted somewhere in the immediate vicinity. But it couldn't tell him where and, even though he knew the others were watching from vantage points all around the surrounding buildings, it didn't stop him wanting to hex every shadow.
This was a big risk and there was a very good chance the werewolf would maim, if not kill him before the silver bullets could reach him. Adrenaline surged through his body, his instincts swinging violently between fight and flight while he waited for the attack.
What if I'm wrong? What if he marked James or Peter instead?
His gut told him he was right, though, and his step didn't waver as he walked slowly down the block away from the club. Sirius could feel the comforting weight of his wand hidden up his sleeve and tried to turn his thoughts to more pleasant things.
They say that when your life is hanging in the balance, your life flashes before your eyes and, when Sirius heard the scratch of claws on cement and felt the hot, putrid breath of a carnivore ruffle his hair, he learned how true that was.
As he tore his wand from his sleeve and listened desperately for the poppoppop of the silver bullets as they sped from the sniper's rifles, images of James and Lily, of Harry and Lottie, of Peter, and, finally, Remus flooded him. And as he whirled around and gazed upon the snarling, salivating animal before it lunged at him with a blood-chilling growl, he wished he'd said a better goodbye.
'Remus? Remus, wake up.'
Remus frowned and raised his arm, throwing it across his face. 'Go 'way,' he mumbled, even as sleep was chased away by pain, his body screaming from the agony of being twisted and broken the night before.
'Remus, it's Lily. Merlin, please wake up!'
Remus cracked his eyes open and peered blearily over his arm at an out-of-focus Lily. 'Lily?' he whispered hoarsely. He tried to clear his raw throat. 'What are...?'
'Sirius,' she sobbed out, and the scent of salt and fear on her skin brought the memory of last night's plan back in a dizzying rush.
'Lily, what happened? Gods, was he...?'
'He's hurt,' she whispered, grasping his hand tightly. 'He's hurt, Remus.'
Panic blazed through him, the hot flood dousing the stabbing pain of his injured flesh. He hauled himself to his feet and reached for his jeans. 'Take me to him,' he demanded, grabbing her shoulder for support. 'Now.'
James looked up then jumped to his feet, dumping his coffee in a nearby bin before reaching out to take Remus' weight from Lily. 'Godric, you look like shit! Are you alright?'
'Fine,' Remus said impatiently, forcing back the nausea that was curdling in his stomach after the fast Apparition. 'How's Sirius?'
James' face hardened. He sent Lily to get some fresh coffee, and he didn't answer until he'd settled Remus into a chair in the waiting area. 'He's pretty beat up,' he said, voice a little shaky as he sat down beside Remus. 'Lots of scratches. Peter isn't sure what was directly caused by the werewolf and what was caused by...' He cleared his throat. 'Sirius was thrown around quite a bit.'
Remus closed his eyes at the thought of the werewolf batting Sirius around like a rag doll. 'Was he bitten?'
James sighed, running a hand through his disheveled hair. 'Peter doesn't know,' he said. His voice cracked and he cleared his throat again. 'There was a lot of blood...'
Remus whimpered and buried his face in his hands. The thought of Sirius being changed, being cursed, ripped his heart out. He pressed the heels of his hands hard against his eyes, willing the tears of helplessness away then he raised his head abruptly as a sudden thought hit him.
'They caught him, didn't they?' he asked frantically. 'The werewolf? They...'
'He's dead,' James said flatly, stretching his legs out in front of him. 'Silver bullets – six of them. We'll never know why he did it.'
'Can't say I care much right now,' Remus muttered, rubbing a hand across his face. He winced as the movement jarred his wrist.
'You should go home,' James said, seeing the flinch. 'I told Lily to tell you, not to bring you here.'
'I'm not going anywhere,' Remus said stubbornly, giving Lily a quick smile of thanks when she reappeared with three cups of coffee. 'Not until I know he's alright.'
Remus had his eyes closed, praying to a deity he'd lost contact with a long time ago, when Peter finally came through the door. Lily's gasp alerted him, and his eyes snapped open.
'Peter...?' James whispered hesitantly, as if frightened to even ask.
'He'll be alright,' Peter said, a grin splitting his exhausted face. 'He'll be okay.'
James whooped and crushed Peter to his chest in a bear hug, Peter laughing and returning the embrace enthusiastically. Tears of relief ran unchecked over Lily's pale cheeks as she clasped her hands together, her shoulders hitching with silent sobs. James released Peter and gathered Lily in his arms, cradling her as she wept. Peter watched them for a long moment before his gaze slid to a wobbly-legged Remus.
'Merlin!' he yelped, striding to Remus' side. 'Remus, you look like death chewed you up and spat you out.'
'I like to look my best,' Remus quipped tiredly, finally letting himself relax back into the uncomfortable chair. Sirius was going to be alright. 'Is he really...? He wasn't...?'
Peter shook his head as he prodded Remus' wrist. 'No, he wasn't bitten,' he said absently, fingering a livid bruise on Remus' forearm. 'And he really is fine. A few scars that'll never fade, but hey, blokes dig scars as much as chicks, right?'
Remus closed his eyes again, feeling Sirius' warm, wet tongue mapping the trajectory of his scars as vividly as if it were happening at that moment. 'Yeah,' he murmured then hissed as Peter pressed on what had been a particularly deep wound before Arthur had healed it.
'Did you have any pain potions before you got here?' Peter asked, a frown creasing his brow as he waved his wand over Remus' arm. 'And did you know you've fractured your wrist?'
'No and no,' Remus sighed. 'Can I see him?'
Peter's eyes flicked up to Remus' face then lowered once again. 'He's sleeping, but yeah. James and Lily can go in first while I sort you out then you can sit with him for a while.'
He stood up and shoved his wand into the holster up his sleeve as he repeated himself for James and Lily. James nodded brusquely and hurriedly left the waiting room, Lily patting Remus on the shoulder before following him.
'I'm going to get some pain potions for you,' Peter said, but Remus grabbed him by the wrist before he could move.
'He... He'll hate me, won't he?' he said resignedly. His chest tightened and he felt tired tears stinging his eyes. 'Every time he sees me, he'll remember what I am and what happened to him.'
'You didn't do this to him, Remus.'
'But I'm one of them.'
Peter smiled and covered Remus' hand with his own. 'No, you're not,' he said softly. 'You're Remus. And Sirius isn't that shallow.'
'I didn't mean...'
'I know,' Peter soothed. 'You know, I didn't think I'd ever see him like this – sticking with one bloke for more than a night or two. You're good for him, Remus. You didn't scare him off when you told him about yourself, and I don't think this'll do it either.' He flashed a fast smile then sobered. 'Just make sure you're worthy of his trust, alright? I like you, Remus, and it'd be a shame if James and I were forced to do Very Painful Things to you.'
Remus smiled and nodded. Peter grinned then patted his hand. 'Now, let me get those pain potions then you can see the hero of the hour.'
James and Lily looked up as Remus, closely followed by Peter, entered the room. James grinned at them as Lily bent over the bed to kiss Sirius on the cheek.
'He's awake,' James told them, looking enormously relieved. 'And he's whining because we won't give him a mirror so he can admire his battle scars.'
'I like scars!' came a plaintive voice from the bed.
James rolled his eyes. 'We'll leave you to it,' he said to Remus as he moved aside, giving Remus his first glimpse of a bruised and bandaged Sirius whose eyes lit up at the sight of Remus.
'Hey,' he said softly, his smile tentative.
Remus mirrored him, still not entirely certain of his welcome. 'Hi,' he murmured. 'I hear you've been mistaken for a chew toy.'
Sirius huffed out a laugh then held out his arm. 'Come here.'
Remus slowly moved closer, taking Sirius' outstretched hand. His gaze never left Sirius, his mind barely registering the hasty departure of the others. Sirius kept his eyes on Remus as well, tugging gently on their joined hands to bring him nearer.
'Are you okay?' he asked, eyes raking over Remus from head to toe. 'Last night...'
Remus laughed, incredulous that Sirius was even asking. 'You're the one in the hospital bed,' Remus reminded him, caging Sirius' hand between his.
'Meaning I've been fixed up and will be my irresistible self in no time,' Sirius retorted then he patted the space on the mattress beside him, the hint blatant and impossible to ignore. Remus sat, his throat aching from suppressed emotion. 'You, on the other hand,' Sirius said, 'look like shit.'
'That does seem to be the consensus,' Remus murmured, raising Sirius' hand to his mouth, brushing his lips lightly across the back of Sirius' fingers. Sirius' joviality, instead of soothing and relieving him, only made him feel worse, but Remus played along, sensing Sirius was doing it for his benefit. 'I should be incredibly resentful that you look as good as you do after being gnawed on by a werewolf while I look wrung out after spending the night lounging around the ol' shack.'
A wry smile spread slowly across Sirius' face, his eyes becoming unfocused and glazed as Remus pressed a kiss to each knuckle. 'You know I only did it so you could play nursemaid?' he said huskily. 'You'll look bloody brilliant in one of those Muggle nurse's uniforms.'
Remus' smile felt more like a grimace as a lump formed in his throat. 'I... I don't have the legs for it,' he managed to get out, his eyes stinging. Sirius' own smile faded when he saw the distress Remus was finding more and more difficult to hide.
'I'm alright,' he whispered, grasping Remus' wrist. 'I really am.'
Remus felt a sob rising in his chest and was helpless to stop it slipping out. 'Gods, Sirius...'
Sirius pulled firmly on Remus' arm, not letting up until Remus was curled up next to him on the bed and they were holding on tight, as though frightened the other would disappear if they let go. Remus pressed his face into Sirius' chest, hand hesitantly sliding across his stomach, mindful of the bulky padding of the bandages beneath the St. Mungo's gown.
'I won't break,' Sirius said softly, lips moving against Remus' brow. 'I really am okay. Just some cuts which will be healed by morning.' He laughed quietly. 'With Peter's painkillers, I can barely feel them. It pays to have a Healer in the family.'
Remus nuzzled his nose into the crook of Sirius' neck, inhaling deeply. He could still smell Sirius under the sharp scent of the Healer-strength Cleansing spells. 'He gave me the good ones too,' he mumbled against Sirius' collar bone. 'He's not picky about who he's handing them out to.'
Sirius made a noise of disagreement. He combed his fingers through Remus' hair then gripped his chin with his thumb and forefinger, forcing Remus to look at him. 'Yes, he is,' Sirius said, his voice soft, but full of meaning. 'He considers you family.' He swallowed hard then opened his mouth, snapping it shut again before he sighed heavily. 'I... Maybe we can start over,' Sirius suggested.
Remus frowned, puzzled. 'What do you mean?'
'How we met... well, as amazing as it was, it's not one for the godchildren, is it?' he said with a quirk of his lips. 'And we just kind of kept falling into each other after that.' He licked his lips and cleared his throat. 'I want to do this properly, Remus. I don't want just fucking, as bloody mind-blowing as that is. I want more. I want us to be more.'
Remus shook his head, a tear streaking down his cheek. 'You're an Auror,' he said hoarsely, Sirius' confession robbing him of his already tenuous control over his emotions. 'And I...'
'Moody's looking into the allegations of Ministry-sanctioned werewolf culling,' Sirius told him. 'It's likely the legislation will be abolished, and the lockdowns scrapped. I'm thinking of transferring to the Magical Creatures Legislation Department to oversee the drafting of some new legislation.'
He cupped Remus' stunned face. 'Remus,' he pleaded. 'We can do this. I promise. We can do it. Can we just... start over? Do it properly? Meet, date, perhaps do some talking in between the shagging? See where it goes?'
Remus chuckled then nodded, unable to pretend this wasn't exactly what he wanted as well – a chance at a life he never thought he'd get with someone he loved. 'Okay,' he whispered. 'Okay.'
Sirius beamed then wriggled back, putting some space between them. 'Hi,' he said brightly, holding out a hand. 'I'm Sirius Black. I'm an Auror, I'm unnaturally dependent on my friends, and I've never been in a serious relationship but I think it might be about time I gave it a try. I hear good things.'
Remus grinned and took Sirius' hand in his own. 'I'm Remus Lupin,' he replied. 'I'm a private tutor, I have an unnatural affection for chocolate and Muggle pizza, my legs aren't anywhere near good enough to get away with wearing a nurse's uniform, and once a month, I have some... body hair issues.'
Sirius laughed then leaned in and pressed a chaste kiss to Remus' lips. 'Nice to meet you, Remus Lupin,' he said softly. 'You don't have any objections to sleeping with a man you've only just met, do you? Because I really, really don't want to let you go.'
Remus leaned his forehead against Sirius', caressing his cheek lightly with his fingertips. 'No objections,' he whispered, feeling Sirius' sigh of relief feather over his skin. He slipped under the covers then pulled Sirius closer, their legs tangling beneath the sheets. 'I'm not going anywhere.'